My sculpture. Every morning, my son, inconstant the rest of the day—he is too old, living with me. Every morning, my son attaches a piece of fruit to my sculpture, my Rifle Association Match Trophy, the Winchester Plainsman Trophy I won, damn it all, I won my trophy, my sculpture, a mantle piece bronze buckskin cowboy, his horse rearing up to three legs, resting gun in the crook of his left arm, left hand holding the reins while right arm points to the mountains. The bronze horse has a perfect, full, high-arced tail. Every morning, before I get up, my son sticks a pear, or an apple, or an orange onto the cowboy’s gun, the gun tip sticks out from the crook of the cowboy’s left arm, the gun tip sticks out enough to hold fruit. Today it is pear again. My son.
My son and I make our own soap, stove to soap pots on kitchen counter. Before mess gets everywhere, lye, I put everything from the counter (fruit basket) in the side, under-bottom cabinet where a Lazy Susan stashes high with Tupperware (all the tops fall back). A pear also slips to the back of the cabinet, wrinkles, gets softer with age, develops black spots, shrinks. Rotten squishy pear on my sculpture, this morning, there is my sculpture defaced again.
We never talk, my son and I. For the last three years, since he moved back in, we have never talked to each other, not a word. We do not speak while making soap; we do not speak in front of the TV or separating toast to two plates. Every morning, the vandal. Every morning the paper toweler, chunks of fruit, juice drizzling down. Us bastards, the fruit back the next morning.
I work: I am a behavior detection officer; I monitor suspicious behavior at the airport security checkpoint. Knowledge of communication principles, methods, practices. I fought: took my position behind the trees, my anger against the smoke, my attack. I am a hunter. There is nothing wrong with hunters. Overall, hunters are no more or less violent than non-hunters; hunters just know how to use guns.
I found a trophy for my son. Los Angeles has one thousand twenty-six trophy stores. It’s true. House of Trophies and Awards. I order my son a twenty-one dollar, plastic cast rifleman, my son’s plastic to my bronze, next on the mantle.
- Marcus Civin, an artist and writer